Today, is Friday, April 23rd, which is the last day of Spring Break, which is a complete and total relief to me because my Zumba classes can resume as usual tomorrow morning and I can finally get the ass-shakin’ fix that I’ve been missing all week. And not only is today the last day of the out-of-my-control Zumba hiatus, but coincidentally it is also The Mommyologist’s six month anniversary!
I started this blog on October 23rd, 2009, and here I sit exactly six months later typing my 103rd post. And I can’t even believe where this journey has taken me in that short duration. I am not sure what exactly I expected to happen after I hit that publish button for the very first time, but I can guarantee that I never anticipated becoming this addicted to the wonderful world of the blogosphere. And now that it’s got a hold of me, I know that it will never loosen its grip. And even if it tries to kick me to the curb someday, it better know that this ass-shakin’ diva will hold on for dear life and absolutely refuse to let go.
I thought that a great way to celebrate my half-year anniversary would be to share a few things that I’ve learned along the way that I never could’ve known about blogging when I wrote my very first post. And I’m not talking about the technical stuff here. I’m talking about the more personal aspects of putting your heart and soul into your little corner of cyberspace. Because PERSONAL is exactly what a blog IS. It is YOUR BABY, and it is YOUR JOB to protect and love that child and watch it grow up.
THERE WILL BE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO JUST DON’T “GET” THE WHOLE BLOGGING THING
I don’t know about you, but when I started my blog, I couldn’t wait to run and tell all of my family and friends about it. I emailed the link to everyone on my contact list and posted it to my Facebook page at least a half a dozen times. And for some reason it shocked the hell out of me when every single person in my life didn’t jump for joy and shout from the rooftops that I had somehow stumbled upon greatness and now deserved the title of, well…you know…the “most awesome writer EVER.” (Not that I really thought that then or think that about myself now, but it’s still nice to hear even if it isn’t 100% true).
And it wasn’t that I got any initial criticism from family and friends, it’s just that some of them really just didn’t acknowledge my new “baby” in the slightest. It took me a couple of months to realize that there are definitely people out there who just really don’t understand the whole blog thing. And that doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you or what you are doing, it’s just that since they don’t have a blog, they don’t understand the appeal of it. And that is OK. Because for each person who doesn’t “get it” there is someone in your life who truly DOES “get it”, and those are the people who you need to surround yourself with and turn to for positive influence.
I have a few people in my life (you know who you are) who absolutely 100% support me and take an interest in my pursuits no matter WHAT I am doing. And I’d like to take a minute to thank those awesome people for realizing just how important The Mommyologist is to me and for making an effort to embrace my little venture wholeheartedly. Because whenever I have one of those “not-so-sure-about-things” kind of days (we all have them), these incredible people are the ones who make me feel like a superstar. And I love each and every one of them for it.
My advice to my readers is not to get upset about the “non-getters” in your life, because they still care about you and love you. It’s just that they don’t comprehend the allure of writing a blog. And if they ever do break down and get a blog, support them for sure. Because then they’ll totally understand and they’ll need that camaraderie from someone “in the know.”
SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST AREN’T GOING TO AGREE WITH YOU
This was a tough one for me, ladies and gentlemen! I don’t know why it never dawned on me at first that by putting myself out there and expressing my opinions on motherhood and life in general, I was pretty much setting myself up for the naysayers to try and knock me down off my high-horse. The first time that I received criticism about The Mommyologist, I went into full on defense mode. And that’s the NICE way of saying exactly how I behaved.
As hard as it is to digest, when you are putting your thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see, there are just bound to be some people who don’t like what you have to say. And if you completely obsess over their negativity (like I did at first), it can put you in a really bad place. I know that when it first happened to me, I doubted myself. I questioned the decision to write this blog. And at times I even pondered the quality of my character a little. But then I remember why I started The Mommyologist, and I remembered that my goal of making people laugh and eliminating feelings of isolation among mothers was just way too important to let my vision fall to the wayside because of one snarky comment. And I realized that as a writer, I am just bound to encounter some criticism along the way.
Negative feedback and comments can be so hard to take sometimes, but the best thing that you can do for yourself is to see those remarks as a POSITIVE thing, because it means that what you said actually evoked emotion in people, even if that emotion wasn’t necessarily good. It made them THINK. It made them REACT. And that means that your voice was HEARD. Use those dissenting opinions to your advantage and let them give you a CONFIDENCE BOOST.
That is exactly what I do every time that someone leaves a negative comment on my posts. And I usually email them to thank them for boosting my ego and reminding me what an awesome writer I am. And I always feel empowered after I do that. Because I took their negative energy and threw positive right back at them. And positive always triumphs over negative. Try it, it WORKS!
BLOGGING IS MY JOB…EVEN IF I DON’T GET PAID FOR IT. AND YES, FINDING A BALANCE CAN BE TOUGH!
About a week or so ago, I was pumping gas at the station at the bottom of our hill, and I noticed a chalkboard on the outside of the building with the words, “Powerball Jackpot 240 million” (or some other insanely large number) written on it. As I waited for my tank to fill up, I thought about what it would be like to win all that money and not have to worry about anything anymore. My lottery day dreams typically start the same way, and that is with me buying some ginormous house on the coast somewhere, but my second thought in this particular dream surprised me a little. I thought to myself, “We could pick up and move to the coast and then I’d have all the money in the world and could work on my blog all day long!”
They say that if you are doing something you love, you will never work a day in your life again. And that is how I feel about this blog. Even if I won hundreds of millions of dollars, I’d still want to log onto my computer and write every single day. And I’d still continue to grow and develop The Mommyologist into something bigger…even though I’m not exactly sure what “bigger” means at this point.
I guess that blogging and being a mom pretty much go hand in hand, because both of these things are my full-time jobs that I don’t get paid for. Well, at least I don’t get paid in CASH. My son pays me everyday in cuddles and kisses, and unconditional love, and you really just can’t put a price on that. And this blog? It pays me in ways that I never could have imagined, with the connections I’ve made with other bloggers being the highest reward, along with the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve made people laugh or feel better about themselves. Once again, totally priceless.
With all that being said, having these two jobs makes it pretty difficult to find a balance sometimes because I don’t want to neglect either of them. My son is my absolute highest priority in my life, and sometimes that means that building Lego “space vehicles” just has to take precedent over blog hopping and tweeting. And I know that I haven’t been as good about reading other blogs and returning comments these days, but as my blog has grown, so has my workload, and sometimes I just find it impossible to write good content, answer emails, keep up with tweets, and still give my son all of the attention that he so rightly deserves all at the same time.
I love my readers. I love my bloggy friends. And I hope you all know just how much I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day to check in and see what The Mommyologist has to say. This blog would be nothing without you.
And I really can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!
ps – Don’t forget that this coming Monday, April 26th is Mom Sexy day!! I can’t wait to tell all of you about my latest efforts to bring Mom Sexy back!